Matt Ruff talks about his masterful antiracist novel Lovecraft Country, out in paperback today

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I read and enjoyed Matt Ruff’s book, but it would be great if you also gave some attention to a Lovecraft-influenced anti-racist novel by a black person. Victor LaValle’s “The Ballad of Black Tom” is just as good as Ruff’s book and equally deserving of media attention. Perhaps in future you can run an article (preferably written by a black fan of the horror/fantasy genre) looking at modern books which are inspired by Lovecraft’s fiction yet aware of his racism?

Also, I really had to laugh at the irony of calling a book by a white person a “masterful antiracist novel.” White people still seeing themselves as masters even when it comes to anti-racism.


I would second Cory’s enthusiasm over this book - more a collection of short stories that are tied together as described above. Scary to think that the reality of the Jim Crow era was not that long ago (and seems to be trending back - judging by US race politics).

My only gripe upon completion was that each of these vignettes could have been a full-length novel in their own right. A bit of a missed opportunity there.

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I felt the same way. The sections were too long to be short stories, and too short to be novels in their own right. Each could have stood alone as novels, but ended in weird places for novels to end, like they just weren’t fully developed enough. They were interwoven, but not quite interwoven enough to be sections of a traditional novel. This isn’t the first book I’ve read like this, so it may just be a stylistic thing that I’m not accustomed to.

Other than that, I highly recommend this book. It’s one of those horror fantasy books where the real horror takes place outside the fantasy world, and was heavily inspired by real life events. It reminded me a little of Pan’s Labyrinth in that respect.

Thank you!

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